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Forget me not but how many?

These days our email group which consisted of human rights and women's rights activists has decreased in number. Those who we befriended from inside the country after the June elections and a mutual commitment and belief tied us together are being detained one by one and held in prison while we have to delete their names from our emails and facebook. Deleting friends even those you have never seen is a very emotional and difficult job. I still keep Koohyar on my facebook, hoping he will be released soon and send me a message of hope and speak of his aspirations for his country and the young generation of his age.

Regrettably, those who are occasionally released do not have the energy or would not want to return to a hell called 'prison', or as part of their bail do not come back to us and leave us to continue without them. They don't  even tell us what happened to them while away. In the past I have had friends who came out of prison and never spoke of their time in there. Some could speak in parts and only after many years.  Others found the courage to write their memoirs. But that agin was after many years. Up until now about 32 books has been published. I happened to read one such unpublished manuscript with the intention to translate it into English. When I finished reading, I cried uncontrolably for 24 hours and abondoned the idea as it was beyonbd pain to re-read it again and present it to the English reader. Pain is too simple a word to describe the outcome of my reading. The victim has been a  brave beyond human being to end 6 years of constant torture and even braver to have put his experience in writing. I wasn't that brave. I refused to re-read it. I often wonder how many of my pen friends are now experiencing what I read; Shiva Nazar-Ahari? Koohyar Goodarzi? Kaveh Kermanshahi?

I received a request to speak on behalf of the prisoners and ask the world not to forget them. How many of them? I don't know. Figures flactuate between 2000-5000.

Here, I make a collective request from the world not to forget any of them especially Dr Mohammed Maleki, ex-President of Tehran University who is being kept in prison for months and is in need of treatment for his prostate cancer in addition to other health problems. Shiva Nazar-Ahari, who has been transferred from solitariy to a grave like cage; and Bahman Amouie who is sentenced to 6 years term; and Bard-al Sadat Mofid whose heath is deteriorating; and Mahdieh Golru who is in poor health; and Bahare Hedayat who is under tremendous pressure by the torturers; and Maryam Ghanbari, a young lawyer who was detained for no apparant reason; and Somayeh Rashidi and Maziar Samiee and Massoud Bastani and finally Shabnam Madadzadeh who has been kept in prison since last year; and the rest of the  2000/3000/ or 5000 other prisoners of conscience in Iran who dared to challenge the authority of a regime who happens to have lost its moral authority and is holding to power by the only means that all autocratic regimes before them have done: Suppresion, killing, silencing and lying to the world. Forget us not is what we Iranians urge the world not to do. We will overcome sooner or later. We will not forget those who helped us walk these few miles to freedom and democracy. We will not also forget those who left us alone in fear of losing thier financial interests in Iran.






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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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